The Naked Cage (1986)

Genres - Crime, Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Prison Film  |   Run Time - 97 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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This late arrival in the "women in prison" genre couldn't exactly be called tasteful or subtle; The Naked Cage revels in gratuitous nudity, cheap sex, brutal violence, and any other sleazy element the filmmakers could dream up. That said, the movie knows it is grindhouse fare and pursues its trashy ambitions with a go-for-broke vigor that is likely to win over the B-movie fanbase. Paul Nicolas balances the unbelievability of his scenario and his penchant for chuckle-inducing dialogue with ambitious plotting, a virtually constant stream of action, and a knowingly campy style. His direction is also quite lively and is aided immensely by some slick location photography by Hal Trussell. Best of all, the cast delivers energetically campy performances that live up to the wild material: Shari Shattuck has a straight-faced sense of poise as the too-good-to-be-true heroine, Christina Whitaker is a snarling, over-the-top delight as her nemesis, and Angel Tompkins and Nick Benedict do some slyly humorous work as the degenerate authoritarians who run the prison. To sum up, The Naked Cage is strictly for the cult movie audience, but it's energetic and inspired enough to give them plenty of trashy joy.